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Sailboat capsized by gusty winds on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Sun., April 4, 2010

A blast of wind overturned a sailboat on Lake Coeur d’Alene on Saturday afternoon, but the lone occupant swam to safety at Higgens Point.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said the unidentified sailor told deputies he was unable to maneuver the 16-foot boat in the choppy water.

While he was trying to keep a balky outboard motor running, a gust filled the sail and overturned the boat. A National Weather Service Station on the lake’s north shore was recording winds up to 22 mph around the time of the capsizing at 2:52 p.m.

Although he had a life jacket beside him, the man said he was unable to grab it before he hit the 42-degree water. He made the 300-foot swim to shore without it.

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